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Nanoparticulate Vaccine Delivery Systems

- edited by Martin J. D'Souza

(Pan Stanford Publication, 2015)




Drug delivery technology has infused new interest in seemingly ineffective drugs by targeting them specifically to desired sites of action. In this manner, unwanted systemic side effects and toxicity are obviated and dose requirements can be substantially reduced.

Research work in our Nanotechnology Laboratory has been focused on evaluating the nanoencapsulation and microencapsulation of vaccines and drugs as delivery vehicles thereby achieving targeted and sustained release of the encapsulated vaccine/drug with the aid of biodegradable polymers. Macrophage mediated delivery of drugs has also been suggested as an alternative for selective targeting of drugs in several types of diseases. Some examples of these diseases are tumor treatment, arthritis, septic shock, AIDS and organ transplantation. Cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor and interleukins have been implicated as the principle modulators released from activated macrophages during experimental septic shock using endotoxin.

Modern immunology has acknowledged the importance of the monocyte /macrophage/dendritic cells as the prime antigen presenting cell in immune reactions. As an extension of this function, these cells may be utilized to present immuno-suppressant drugs to relevant components of the immune system, such as lymphocytes in an effort to down regulate aberrant or undesired expression. The deleterious effects of autoimmune diseases that manifest themselves due to improper recognition of “self” from “non-self” may be effectively abolished using this mode of delivery – tumor therapy, organ transplantation, septic shock and rheumatoid arthritis are examples of such diseases.

Currently we are also working on oral delivery of vaccines, proteins and peptides. The strategy is to prepare sustained release nanosphere/microsphere formulations which are enteric coated so as to prevent degradation in the stomach. We have recently formulated and have conducted preliminary testing of the efficacy after oral vaccination in cancers such as melanoma, breast, ovarian and prostate. We are also evaluating the efficacy of viral and bacterial vaccines such as TB, Typhoid, Pneumococcal, Hepatitis B, Influenza, HIV and H1N1 vaccines. Recently, we have also been working on the delivery of vaccines and proteins via the transdermal route with the use of DermarollersR and microneedle technology. Several patents related to the research mentioned have been issued/filed and various grants have been awarded. We welcome collaborations in these and related areas of research.

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